One of the most common questions we get is “what kind of companies are your business partners?” People like to get an idea of what the work experience will be like and what kind of industries they can see themselves working in during the program.
The answer is simple: high-growth companies.
Praxis partners with startups in the sense that all of our business partners are built for high-growth and are companies that need hard-working, ambitious young talent to grow with them. For them, this makes the value-add of becoming a Praxis business partner obvious — we will help connect them with some of the best, most ambitious young people out there and they get the opportunity to mentor and train them into high-caliber ass-kickers.
“So, does that mean that all Praxis business partners are tech companies?”
No, not at all.
Tech companies naturally lend themselves to growth more than non-tech companies, so many of the fastest-growing companies in the United States today are software and tech companies. The majority of Praxis business partners work with some kind of software and these companies need people to sell the software, market the software, run the operations of the company, and do so much more.
But there are also high-growth non-software companies out there that are startups. We’ve had participants work with holdings companies that work in construction and energy. We’ve had participants work with companies that are in the transportation industry. We’ve had participants work in the culinary industry.
We don’t discriminate based on industry, we discriminate based on growth and quality of work experience.
We have business partners in software technology, energy, advertising, marketing, transportation, biotech, material sciences, services, and pretty much any major industry. What matters is that the company is a great place to work and that it is a culture and environment that will foster a Praxis participant’s growth.
“Why do you focus on growth?”
Companies experiencing high growth need strong talent to join their teams and becoming a Praxis business partner solves this problem for these companies. These companies also provide the most room for participants to grow. Praxis participants don’t simply want a 9-5. They want to have a job that lends itself to getting up early and staying late and growing with the company. Companies that are not experiencing growth are not only difficult to join but also difficult to grow in while working there.
“So, you focus on growth to focus on the quality of the experience?”
Exactly. We want participants to get a top-notch work experience while with their business partners. We believe that the best filter for the quality of the work experience is the growth of the company. Some people don’t want to work in high-growth environments, but Praxis participants are excited about the opportunity to grow with a company.
“What other ways to filter companies?”
Growth alone is not enough to guarantee that a company will be a good Praxis business partner. We also investigate the quality of the work experience there. We research companies using a number of business-facing tools that indicate what it is like to work with a company and we get on the phones with people who currently work with the firm. When possible, a Praxis team member will visit the offices of a potential business partner to get a sense for what the company is like during the day.
We ask questions like:
- “Is this a place where people are knocking down the doors to work?”
- “Is this a place where employees are happy to make sacrifices for the growth of the company?”
- “Is this a place where employees are inspired by the leadership team?”
- “How much time does the leadership team spend around the employees?”
The best indicator of whether or not a company will make a good business partner is if the leadership team “gets” Praxis.
Whenever possible, I get on the phone with the Founder and/or CEO of the company and tell them about what Praxis is and about our vision for empowering young people to take control of their educations and careers. If this resonates with the Founder/CEO, chances are high this will be an excellent business partner because s/he will be able to guarantee the quality of the work experience for the participant.
Without fail, every time a Founder has told me, “I wish this was around when I was younger,” the company has proven to be an excellent business partner.
We regularly turn companies away because we don’t think they’d be a place that Praxis participants would love working. We want participants to be able to say that they loved their time at the company and that companies will want to host more participants.
For us, that means focusing on high-growth companies.
At the end of the day, we ask ourselves these questions:
- “Is this company growing quickly?”
- “Do customers love this company?”
- “Do employees love working here?”
- “Do the founders ‘get’ Praxis? Are they excited about hosting a participant?”
If you want to work somewhere you love and accelerate your career, apply to Praxis today. We launch a new cohort every month.